Creative Juice: Stop Doing Your Own Thing and Help with Someone Else’s Thing

November 17, 2014

I love doing creative things.

I had a phase where I painted landscapes nonstop. Today, I’m getting pretty serious on the throwing wheel. And I still love to write.

But I’ll tell you what feeds me just as much as my creative projects…

Investing in other peoples’ creative projects.

That’s why I love to be a teacher. I love investing myself in the students. I love pouring into them. Of course, they are a captive audience, but they do not have to take my advice. There is no doubt that pouring into kids has sharpened my own skills.

It’s funny how that works. We know that we are finite creatures with finite time, finite energy, finite resources. We might be tempted to hoard ourselves, protect our time, save our energy for ourselves. We might think that if we save it all for ourselves that our own work will be better.

But I have found that is hardly ever the case. I do not think any creative person can get better without pouring a little into others. I do not think any person of faith can grow their faith without pouring a little into others.

The great truth is that you are a renewable resource. You may be depleted at the end of a day. But you regenerate. And the more you pour yourself into other people, the bigger return you get. It’s amazing! Pour more out, get more back.

Charles Spurgeon knew this. He wasn’t an advocate for keeping you to yourself.

water

What if we dropped what we were doing today?

What if we dropped all of our projects and paid attention to what someone else was doing? Just to pour into them, just to encourage them, just to take joy in what they were doing, without any kind of jealousy or self-awareness or comparison?

It might do us some good.